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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov and the Perils of "Highbrow
dan on Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:36:36 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Evgeny Morozov and the Perils of "Highbrow


> A simple example was a number I ran across when researching the US
> Interstate (aka, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of
> Interstate and Defense Highways) system -- that right now it would
> take the energy equivalent of all remaining declared Suadi oil
> reserves to re-build that system. THe absolute lifetime, in engineering
> standards, of such a highway is a maximum of 40 years, and much of
> this system has reached 50 years. The US no longer has free access
> to the energy resources necessary to project this system into the
> future, and if you want to directly experience entropy, simply drive
> around the US on that system. Better have an SUV with a good
> suspension, perhaps a Hummer, as you will need it!

In computer systems, it is clear and proven that we can build systems
too complex to understand and predictably operate.  The easiest
example is that of financial "flash crashes."  One might ask whether
or not the Smart Grid and/or wholesale conversion to Electronic
Health Records might prove this yet again.

In the meantime, for your facts file, the Big Dig in Boston worked
out to well over $50,000 per foot of lane.  If you are a US taxpayer,
that's what you were buying.  Had those funds been used to endow
the public transit system, at that system's current scale it could
have been free in perpetuity.  One may certainly argue that the
ability of tax-levying entities to sell bonds at below-market
interest rates serves to generate such bubbles as you describe
extending to the debasement of that debt through (induced) inflation.

We're probably in a rat hole,

--dan


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